How to Protect Yourself from Brian Williams and Bill O’Reilly’s Fate
“Let’s face it, every one of us has been caught up in the moment and claimed an event, an experience or an accomplishment was greater than it really was. That customer contract was for more than you really sold it for, the experience at the restaurant was your worst ever, or you were the greatest player on your college football team.
In recent weeks, we have witnessed this happening often in the news and it has brought down the credibility of some very notable individuals. First it was Brian Williams, followed by Bill O’Reilly. Both newsmen allegedly embellished the truth about their previous conflict reporting. Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald apologized on Monday for lying about serving in the Army’s Special Forces.
What happens if you misstep and make something bigger (or worse) than it really was? How can you protect yourself from a similar fate? …
The best rule of thumb is to admit your exaggeration as soon as possible.
Far better to face the discomfort of making a correction before someone else finds it on their own. This takes a great level of humility and self-awareness, but the end result will be an increased level of respect from those around you. Your employees, customers and colleagues want to follow someone who is authentic and real. …
It’s likely that others may already be talking about your indiscretion without your knowledge, and the back channel can be as damaging to your career and future endeavors as any public outing might be.
One of my client companies was run by an executive who constantly stretched the truth. She knows everyone, has done everything has lived or visited any place you could think to mention. Regrettably, everyone around her knows she is stretching the truth.
Because none of her employees can trust her to tell the truth in the unimportant things, they don’t believe her when she talks about the really important things – like raises and company stability. This has created a situation of heavy turnover for her and it holds her back from developing authentic relationships with her peers. This has created a situation of heavy turnover for her and it holds her back from developing authentic relationships with her peers.”